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SQI: Simpson Querry Institute

News and Announcements

Read the most recent SQI news below, and subscribe to our newsletters to stay informed about what is happening at the institute.
Susan Quaggin

Understanding molecular drivers of lymphedema

July 18, 2024
Northwestern University scientists led by SQI member Susan Quaggin have uncovered molecular mechanisms underlying lymphatic valve development. This discovery could prove useful in treating lymphedema, a chronic condition that causes localized swelling and has no known cure.

NIBIB highlights recent bladder research from SQI faculty

June 25, 2024

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) published a “science highlight” on new technologies to improve bladder surgery and monitoring, developed by SQI members Arun Sharma, Guillermo Ameer and John Rogers. Their translational research, which combines regenerative medicine and bioelectronics, was originally published in separate papers in PNAS and PNAS Nexus.

Susan Quaggin

Quaggin named winner of the John P. Peters Award

June 18, 2024
SQI member Susan Quaggin has won the 2024 John P. Peters Award, the American Society of Nephrology announced. Named after one of the founders of the field of nephrology, this prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made substantial research contributions to the discipline of nephrology and have sustained achievements in one or more domains of academic medicine including clinical care, education and leadership.
Transplanted islets

Antioxidant gel preserves islet function after pancreas removal

June 7, 2024
Northwestern University researchers led by SQI member Guillermo Ameer have developed a new antioxidant biomaterial that someday could provide much-needed relief to people living with chronic pancreatitis. In the study, the material significantly improved the survival and preserved the function of transplanted islets, which help patients control their own blood-glucose levels without insulin injections following pancreas removal.

ISTC names Rivnay a ‘Researcher to Know’

May 31, 2024

SQI member Jonathan Rivnay was named to the 2024 “Researchers to Know” list by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC). An expert in organic and hybrid bioelectronics, Rivnay was one of 31 faculty members from across the state recognized by the ISTC.

Shana Kelley

Kelley featured on Weinberg’s faculty speaker series

May 29, 2024
SQI member Shana Kelley recently appeared on the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences’s “Conversations with the Dean” series. In the episode, Kelley and Dean Adrian Randolph discussed creating new tools to diagnose and treat diseases, the importance of interdisciplinary and translational research, and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Chicago, where Kelley serves as president.

Hersam elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

May 1, 2024
SQI member Mark Hersam is among the six Northwestern University faculty who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. They are recognized for their excellence and commitment to uphold the Academy’s mission of engaging with professions across different perspectives.  
Mark Hersam

Hersam wins MRS Mid-Career Research Award

April 16, 2024
SQI member Mark Hersam has won the 2024 Mid-Career Research Award from the Materials Research Society (MRS). Hersam’s research has led to more effective and sustainable nanomaterials used in electronics, energy storage and medicine.
Jes Sanders

Meet the Researchers: Jes Sanders

April 5, 2024
Jes Sanders is a fifth-year general surgery resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of SQI members James Mathew and Joseph Leventhal. In this interview, Sanders summarizes his main research project and explains why he was drawn to the field of transplant immunology.

Implant and app enables patients to monitor bladder function

March 25, 2024

Researchers led by SQI members Guillermo Ameer, John Rogers and Arun Sharma have developed a new soft, flexible, battery-free implant that attaches to the bladder wall to sense filling. Then, it wirelessly transmits data to a smartphone app, so users can monitor their bladder fullness in real time.

While this new device is unnecessary for the average person, it could be a game-changer for people with paralysis, spina bifida, bladder cancer or end-stage bladder disease. The sensor system also can enable clinicians to monitor their patients remotely and continuously to make more informed — and faster — treatment decisions.

Implantable sensor could lead to timelier Crohn’s treatment

March 19, 2024
A team of scientists led by SQI members John Rogers and Arun Sharma has developed the first wireless, implantable temperature sensor to detect inflammatory flareups in patients with Crohn’s disease. The approach offers long-term, real-time monitoring and could enable clinicians to act earlier to prevent or limit the permanent damage caused by inflammatory episodes.
Jonathan Rivnay

Polymer electronics feel strain and evolve during operation

February 28, 2024
New research from a team including SQI member Jonathan Rivnay details how strain and dynamics couple with the external electrical stimulus within a complex polymer system. These systems have both electronic and ionic functionality and the insights developed enable future materials with enhanced device durability and performance in wet, operationally relevant conditions.
cancer cells

Outsmarting chemo-resistant ovarian cancer

February 23, 2024
In a new study, SQI member C. Shad Thaxton and colleagues showed that treatment with synthetic nanoparticles reduced ovarian tumor growth by more than 50% in human cells and animal models. The nanoparticles appear to cancer cells as cholesterol-rich particles, but they actually block cholesterol uptake and send the cancer cells down a cell death pathway.
Microscopic image of regenerating bladder tissue

Synthetic ‘bladder patch’ promotes tissue regeneration, restores function

February 12, 2024
A research team led by SQI member Arun Sharma has developed a synthetic, flexible “bladder patch” that outperformed the current standard surgery for severe bladder dysfunction in a long-term, large-animal model — the last step before beginning clinical trials. The “patch” is an elastic-like scaffold that is seeded with a patient’s own stem cells and then sutured to the bladder, where it helps to restore function and promote regeneration in the existing tissue.